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Tip of the Day
Language: SQL
Expertise: Advanced
Nov 12, 2015

Work Around to Fix Datetime - Primary Key Violation Issue

If any of your applications are using date time field as a complete or part of the primary key and table is used to keep the huge volume of entries based on real date time value, either auditing or tracking needs, then this is the tip you need to solve primary key violation issue.

At random, an Insert operation will fail, emitting a primary key violation error message. This is known SQL server bug, resulting from rounding of values.

The permanent solution will be upgrading the data model to more versatile data types like time stamp, unique identifier to have unique primary key values.

If you don't have much control to change the underlying data model, the following is the work-around to avoid primary key violation issue.

In simple term when ever issue occurs, the logic will try to find next possible valid date time value.

Workaround db script is using table called Tbl_Test

Create Table Tbl_Test
RunDt datetime not null,
JobName varchar(100),
primary key (RunDt)

declare @today datetime

declare @errormsg varchar(100)

Begin try

set @today = getdate()

insert into Tbl_Test (RunDt, JobName) 

values (@today,'TestJob')

end try

Begin catch

select @errormsg = error_message()

while (charindex('Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint',@errormsg) > 0) 


begin try

insert into Tbl_Test (RunDt, JobName)  values (@today,'TestJob')
set @errormsg = ''

end try

begin catch

select @errormsg = error_message()

end catch


end catch

Tested with SQL Server 2008.  Should be applicable on later versions.

Jaya Nehru Kumar
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